The Internal Crisis of Modern European Culture: The Renaissance vs. the Enlightenment

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Conference Speech, February 16, 1997, printed in the American Almanac, March 24, 1997.

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What follows is Helga Zepp LaRouche's keynote presentation to the Presidents' Day conference of the Schiller Institute/International Caucus of Labor Committees, held in Reston, Va., Feb. 16-17, 1997.

I want to talk to you today about the battle of ideas which has characterized the last at least 600 years of civilization: the battle of the ideas of the Renaissance versus the ideas of the Enlightenment.

When your enemy speaks openly about his intentions, and you know that epistemologically he is speaking the truth, you'd do well to listen to him. Two weeks ago, one of the persons who is the self-proclaimed spokesman of the oligarchical faction today, Lord Rees-Mogg, wrote an interesting article in the London Times, in which he claimed that Samuel Huntington and his infamous ``clash of civilizations'' thesis was completely wrong.

Namely, where Samuel Huntington stated that the coming clash of civilization will be the West against Islam, and the West against Christianity, Rees-Mogg said that that will not be the conflict, but it will really be the old values against the new ones: the old values of Christianity, Islam, Confucianism, and that these would have more in common with each other, than the new values, which are based on the New Age, consumerism, Coca-Cola, cocaine consumption, and a culture in which people have moved to buy a moment of personal excitement. Go on vacation! Go to the Caribbean! And that they would be enslaved by a craving for stimulation of the New Age: drugs, sex, Hollywood--all the things that Lyn has been talking about.

And, he said that the old Europe and the old United States, would have just as much to fear as the old China and the old Islam.

Well, look around: look at the United States and Europe with the eyes of somebody living in a place like Sudan, or living in a place like poorer areas in Ibero-America. And, if you look at our culture here, it is absolutely clear, that from the standpoint of somebody who watches what is on videos, what is on the TV, this is a dying culture. People who like these talk shows, who like these idiotic soap operas, violence videos; I mean, this is a culture which, without any question, will be destroyed, if people do not change. It's the end-phase of a dying culture.

The only way to understand the point we are at in human history, is not from day-to-day politics, not from last week to this week; but, only if you situate what is happening today, in 600 years of the fight of the Renaissance against the Enlightenment. And, it is very important that you look at these two conceptions as being two completely different ideas of man, the universe, and society. And, please, search in yourself, where you are leaning to? Which is the idea you think is the correct one about man and the universe?

The Renaissance thinks about man as in the image of God, where each individual participates in the ongoing process of creation through creative reason. It is a notion of man, where man is conceived of as limitlessly perfectible; the idea of man based on a tremendous cultural optimism, and where the highest idea is to have a beauty of the soul; where the political expression is the sovereign nation-state, dedicated to the common good of the people, which can be realized only through scientific and technological progress, and where the idea of the universe is a negentropic idea.

On the other side, you have the ideas of the Enlightenment: man is basically evil. He's a beast. You have a mechanistic view of the thought process. Knowledge is not acquired through creative reason, but through sensuous experience. You have the mechanistic view of the universe: the universe is collapsing, and there is more evil in it than good. And, you have a tremendous cultural pessimism and cynicism about your fellow man.

Now, the problem is that the leading institutions of the West, have been taken over by that second point of view. And, as Lyn stated yesterday, up to thirty years ago, there was a kind of back and forth: at one time, a more sovereign nation-state, at another time, a more oligarchical model. But, there was a symbiotic coexistence of both forms. And the reason was, that the nation-state, again and again, proved its military superiority, so that the oligarchy could not completely eliminate technological progress, up until the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the whole process of detente.

And, as Lyn already explained yesterday, at that point, the power elites thought that the great wars would no longer be possible, and that they could introduce the utopia of the post-industrial society, and use the rock-drug-sex counterculture to stupefy the masses.

1960s "Paradigm Shift"

Now, it is very important for those of you who have joined this movement only recently, to look at the fact that Lyn founded this organization in the 60s, very consciously against this paradigm shift. One of the first things we did, was against the rock-drug-sex counterculture, which Lyn was the only politician, or individual at that point, to recognize as being a mortal threat to mankind.

So, from the beginning, this organization was fighting against the underlying axioms of that paradigm shift imposed by the oligarchical elite.

The problem is that once you go to Hell, there is no final bottom place; and, once you think that sensuous experience is the only method of knowing, then this sensuous experience needs to be stimulated. It's like the Marquis of Sade, who got sexual satisfaction only through ever more degenerate degrees of perversion. And, that this is so, you can easily see if you look at some Hollywood movies of the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, last year, this year, yesterday; and, you always think, it's already beyond what is possible in terms of perversity, and they still top it: more violence, and more sexual perversion.

And, actually, one can see, that there is today, if you really look at it, there is an enslavement by people craving stimulation, which shows you what the final stage of the Enlightenment is, namely, satanism. This was true in the Eighteenth Century, as it is true today. And, when I say satanism, I don't mean it as a mere metaphor. It's reality.

Now, this satanism is also combined with a raving attack against the sovereign nation-state, and Lyn already touched upon it yesterday, but I want to call your attention to it, because, in my mind, it sticks out as one of the things which explains where the times are, which is this famous Dutroux case in Belgium, where there was a pedophilia ring, where many high-level politicians, even ministers of the Belgian government, the highest circles of NATO, were involved in sex orgies with children. And now, the scandal has been going on for a while, and more and more corpses of the children who have been killed in these rituals, have been found.

There were many mass demonstrations in Belgium, against the cover-up by the same government which was involved in these orgies. And now, something very interesting has happened, namely, that the people who are protesting the destruction of the Belgian economy through Maastricht, and the people who are protesting against this child abuse, even up to the point of murder, have merged. And, the parents of some of the murdered girls have emerged as the key leaders of this fight.

For example, the father of two girls who have been killed, is a steelworker who just last week called on the population in a march for employment in Belgium, to save one of the last Belgian steel mills, linking the fight against unemployment, with the fight against this pedophilic perversion, saying that both are a reflection of the decadence of society.

And then the mother, who just lost two girls to people who killed them in a sexual orgy. She said, ``To understand that everything is linked, one has to pose the right questions. Look for the causes for grave injustice. Cease to be reasonable. Stop telling oneself that one can not change the world. We have to become like children, who ask questions all the time. We should not submit. It is true, that in front of the world economy, one feels very small in one's own Belgian village. But, one can no longer accept being a mere piece on the chessboard!''

Now, there is no place on this planet where the financial logic that does not care about the lives of millions of people, is more obvious than in Africa. There is right now a genocide going on by the Museveni clique, which is a puppet of the British oligarchy. And, it couldn't be more obvious, that the lives of a million people in Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi, mean nothing to those forces, who are now grabbing raw materials in the Great Lakes region.

But, if you look at the refugees, at the dying corpses, there is no question that if we do not respond to the challenge of Godfrey Binaisa [1] yesterday, and that if we do not turn the United States policy towards Africa around, what you see there, is just a pretaste of what will happen to all of the world. And, it won't be very long before the terra incognita will be as much in Europe and in the United States--territory which will be controlled only by armed gangs of mercenaries, and that we are looking towards pure Hell.

Creation of The Nation-State

And, if you look at what is happening in Zaire in particular, and what the danger is for Sudan, it's also one of the best pretastes, to see the urgent necessity of defending the nation-state. Because the nation-state is the only instrument which can defend the people against the tyrannical power of supranational institutions, which are not accountable, and which have no sense of being accountable to the common good of the people.

So, the nation-state is something so precious. Because what do you do against mercenaries? What do you do against IMF supranational dictators, who force you to pay the debt, even if you have to pay with the flesh and blood of your own citizens? There is only one institution mankind has generated in its entire development, and that is the sovereign nation-state.

Therefore, I want to explain to you, and please be patient, because it goes back a little bit in history, how much effort it took to come to this notion. It's not self-evident. But, unless we start from the axiom that each individual is made in the image of God, we can have no satisfactory order on this planet. The world does not belong to the forces who control the financial institutions. It belongs to the people, on the basis of the sacredness of human life.

Today, the oligarchical forces are involved in a total attack on the nation-state. But, the people today live so much in the here-and-now, in the virtual reality of entertainment, in the sensuous excitement of the moment, that they do not recognize the danger this represents. I mean, we know it, because right now, we get calls, we get urgent appeals from parliamentarians in Latin America, from parliamentarians in Eastern Europe, from political leaders all over Africa, who say, ``What shall we do? The whole system is falling apart. Where, what is the way out?'' And, it is very moving, if you hear people who take the destiny of their nation seriously, and they come to us, and they ask these questions.

Now, the nation-state was a gigantic breakthrough of the Renaissance. Von der Heydte [2], the author of the famous book, The Birth of the Nation-State, wrote that ``the sovereign nation-state and the community of peoples based on the law of nations is the most unique creation, which the creative mind of the outgoing Middle Ages has left man as a donation.''

And therefore, I want to take you now, through the evolution of that sacred idea. Lyn has stressed many times, that up to the creation of the nation-state, in all of history, 95 percent of mankind was, de facto, living in slavery and in serf-like conditions. That is actually true, because if you talk about history up to the Renaissance, you are talking about the history of the upper five percent, because the other people were uneducated, illiterate, living on the same soil, like generations before them. They did not participate in anything. They were not noticed when they died, they are not accounted for. Their history has not been told. When you talk about history in this period, you only talk about this five percent.

In the Tenth, the Eleventh, and the Twelfth Century, there were imperial power structures, but one can not actually talk about states at this point. You had power conglomerates. You had imperial structures.

But, in this period, in the Eleventh, Twelfth Century, for the educated elite, you still had the idea of reductio ad unum, namely, that all multitude must be based on unity, both politically as well as in respect to the Church. At that point, it was the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, of which Charlemagne was the first, as well as the Papacy. Sure, you had the division into the East and the West. Also, the Salier emperors [3] already had waged wars against Venice, the upcoming power of usury. But, basically, people still had the idea that the political system had to be based on a unity.

Then, the next step was that the idea of independent kingdoms emerged. The first such independent kings were Henry II, the Plantagenet in England (1154-1189), Louis IX of France, Frederick Hohenstauffen in Sicily, Ferdinand of Spain, and his successor, Alfonse the Wise.

And, at that point, they were involved in various struggles, debating on what level the jurisdiction and financial administration should be. The end-result of these struggles was to determine who has the power over life and death, and that only on the level of the leadership of the state, could this be; not on the level of baronies, or mere local authorities. There were severe internal battles over whether the leadership lay with the king, or with the landed aristocracy.

The Idea of Sovereignty

The second notion which emerged in this period, was the idea of sovereignty towards the exterior: that the ruler must be somebody who does not recognize anybody above himself on this planet. This was an important idea, that sovereignty was nobody above yourself on this planet.

Then, a threefold demand emerged with the new developing state theory. First, not to recognize anybody higher on earth; second, to have the power of the emperor on your territory; third, that it represents a complete, unified community.

These three issues emerged as the three great issues of the beginning of state theory, elements of what later became the notion of sovereignty. In the Thirteenth Century, the idea of the sovereign who does not recognize any power higher than himself, becomes a political slogan, and all of a sudden state theoreticians and political forces are talking about it. You have many books and treaties, memorandums; and, that idea indeed represents the radical change from the Thirteenth to the Fourteenth Century.

And, that idea, not to recognize any power higher than yourself, turns out to be one of the most efficient ideas which led to the evolution of modern Europe. Ulrich von Strassburg, who was a colleague and contemporary of Thomas of Aquinas, for the first time coined the notion, that the state can be separated from the person of the sovereign, a new idea: that a fatherland can exist separate from the people.

Now, the second important idea in the emerging notion of sovereignty was the idea of the equalization of the emperor and the king. And, the first time this idea was conceived of, was by Raymond Lull at the end of the Thirteenth Century. Raymond Lull was a poet, a philosopher, and he had a beautiful vision, that the head of the political order should be a persona communa, a common person, who would unify the interests of all people. But it was still one empire.

Frederick II started the realization of this idea of the equalization of the emperor and the king for the first time in practice, by appealing to the reason of the princes, to act according to solidarity and common interests; the idea of states which are acting sovereignly, in equality, together.

Let me now inject, briefly, another current, which represented the seeds which later became the Enlightenment, because these things happened at about the same time. I have to point to the evil role of Roger Bacon, who was the first empiricist of the Middle Ages, not very far removed from Averroes, who bowdlerized the ideas of Aristotle, and reintroduced Aristotle into Europe.

Bacon introduced the notion that there is a difference among human beings, and a resulting difference of the legal order, according to the geographical position and the position of the stars. This will become extremely important later, in Montesquieu, and in the social theory of the Enlightenment, as well as in anthropology today. That is the beginning of racism. So, if people, the Afro-Americans complain about Dead White European Males, here you have one: Roger Bacon. He should be declared dead, because he is one of the fathers of racism.

In his tradition, was the evil William of Ockham (1285-1347), who was born near London, studied at Oxford and Paris. And, he became famous, among other things, for completely backing the Venetian aggression of Edward III of England against France, which became the Hundred Years' War. He was the key ally of Edward, as well as of the self-proclaimed Emperor of the Holy Empire, Ludwig of Bavaria. And, he was absolutely violent in his efforts to destroy the Papacy at a time when the Pope resided in Avignon and the schism existed.

Ockham supported, also, Philip the Fair [4] against Pope John XXII, and Pope Boniface VIII. Through Ockham, the idea emerged that there is no knowable political structure, correct political structure, but that it is always dependent on the circumstances of the time. And, that became part of the state theory of the Enlightenment. It's no coincidence, obviously, that whatever Ockham did throughout his whole life, it was always supported by Venice, and you can say he was a Venetian agent, which I can not prove in terms of payroll; but, he never did anything which was against Venetian interests. It's a typical case, where his theory was just a rationalization of the oligarchical aims of his time.

Ockham's "Two Truths"

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Ockham otherwise was a radical nominalist. The world for him was just a conglomerate of independent objects, knowable only through sense-perception. And, he was the inventor of the ``two truths,'' that there is theology on the one side and philosophy on the other side. And, when you do that, it leads to skepticism. Because if you can not know the laws of God through reason, then the only thing you are left with, is blind faith, and a non-intelligible universe. There is no purpose to Creation, because there is a limitless arbitrariness of God as the final cause for Creation. God can do whatever he wants to; you are an object of his will, and there's nothing you can do.

Ockham, therefore, is one of the evil minds leading to the destruction of cultural optimism, by also eliminating responsibility, because if you don't know what is going on, then there is no point in your taking your share of the load.

Now, Dante [5] was very critical of the corruption of Pope Boniface VIII. He put him among the simonists, in the Eighth Circle of the Inferno. But, he was also against the French King Philip the Fair, whom he called the evil of France, when Philip the Fair threw Boniface into jail.

Now, in this period, in the Thirteenth to Fourteenth Century, you had a seemingly unbridgeable contradiction between the sovereign state or the state, which does not recognize anybody above it, and the idea of an all-encompassing power of a unified ``Reich.'' And, it's very interesting, because at that point, you had many people writing about it. But eventually, all the theoreticians and representatives of the intelligentsia in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century who struggled with this idea, simply resigned, or failed.

The Poets Shape History

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It was only Dante's De Monarchia, written in 1310, which resolved or began to resolve this conflict. And, that constitutes the proof, that it is the poets who shape history, and not the kings or the politicians.

Dante proceeded, not from the facts of the given political reality, but he had a vision, written out in De Monarchia Mundi, (World Monarchy,) where he said you can have a world monarchy and a multitude of territorial states. As a poet, he had a prophetic vision of a golden future of mankind. And, it is also interesting that it was Dante and Lull who, for the first time, had the idea that nobility is not a question of blood and possession of land, but the question of everybody becoming noble himself, a very important evolution.

On the positive side, you had also, Thomas Aquinas, who died in 1274, who was very strong on the question of natural law. He said that there is a lex aeterna, eternal laws which are given by God, which define the eternal order of the universe. And, then you have lex naturalis, natural law, with the participation of man in this divine thought, because man is capable of doing so, because of reason, and man can recognize these laws.

Therefore, the lex naturalis are directed to the bonum communa, the common good, and he who is in charge of the common good, then can make the leges humanae, the human laws. Therefore, according to Aquinas, there is a way of knowing the cohesion of natural law with human practice. Now, this, again, is one of the most debated ideas. And, if you go to any law school today, and you say that natural law gives you a very concrete way of knowing what the common good is, all these professors will say, ``Ah! This is absolutely untrue!''

Now, you should remember, that it was Lyn's discovery of the relative potential population density, which, seven centuries later, gave us the first scientific proof of how you define what is in the common good, and what is not. So, after Lyn's discovery, nobody can claim that they do not know this.

But, in the history of ideas leading to the present crisis, one also has to look at another Venetian propagandist, Marsilius of Padua, who in 1324 wrote Defensor Pacis; who invented the teaching that all power proceeds directly from the people. You have heard this. This is one of the sacred cows of the Enlightenment and democracy today. This is supposedly the big thing about English democracy.

Marsilius was also an agent of the count at the court of Ludwig of Bavaria, and he fought against the Papacy.

The idea that people are the origin of law, written in Defensor Pacis, has, however, the qualification that the capable part of the people should be involved in that. Now, for that, you have to know that in the Thirteenth and the Fourteenth Century, the idea of ``the people'' was completely different than today. It was a relatively small group of the upper class, the advisers of the Emperor. So, again, you have an idea, where the idea is only the democratic cover, the rationalization for oligarchical power. And thus you have to learn not to take everything at face value, because these guys are tricky. They sometimes use very nice words, to lure you into their belief, but you have to become smart.

Now, all of this debate was interrupted by the Dark Age of the Fourteenth Century, where the collapse of the Bardi and Peruzzi banking houses was triggered, among other things, by the debt moratorium declared on May 6, 1339, by Edward III, the one who launched the Hundred Years' War against France, because he went bankrupt over his war expenses.

That, together with the previous looting, led to the collapse of the economy in the Fourteenth Century. And the population collapsed--by half. You had the Black Death. You had a horrible Dark Age. And, when Lyn says today, that the only comparison for what we face today, is the Fourteenth Century, it's quite worthwhile to look at this period. You had superstition.

The evil Barbara Tuchman writes A Distant Mirror, in which she describes what it looked like. There was a total collapse of agriculture, production, trade. You had schismatic fights in the Church. The Flagellants, witch-burning.

The Emergence of the Renaissance

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But, especially because we are, today, again confronted with the danger of the New Dark Age, it is extremely important, and fascinating, to study the emergence of the Italian Golden Renaissance, of which the Council of Florence in 1439 was the absolute high point, and the most beautiful celebration of humankind.

The Council of Florence was the gathering of all leading thinkers in nearly all fields of science and art of that time. The Council was able to create unity of the Church, and to overcome the schism with the Eastern Church, on the highest level. Nicolaus of Cusa, who was the greatest thinker of his time, who is not only the founder of the modern nation-state, and modern natural science, was the most crucial influence in the preparatory proceedings.

At the Council of Basel in 1433, he wrote the Concordantia Catolica, which represented an absolute breakthrough in state theory. It takes Dante's approach of De Monarchia further, by introducing the decisive step, the representative system, that the governed and the governing have a reciprocal legal relationship, and that the governed have the right to choose, in a secret election--and Nicolaus developed a very sophisticated secret election system against vote fraud--you have the right to select your representative, and these representatives then represent the interests of the governed towards the government. But, they also have the commitment, and duty, to the common good of the state.

On the other side, the government is responsible for the well-being of all citizens, and mediates its requirements through these representatives, who are accountable to the people.

This is the most precious idea, and the American Constitution is exactly that, because both the government and the citizens are involved, and it's the only one of all political systems in which the individual can participate in self-government, through this representative system. It's the only guarantee for individual freedom. This is very important, because people are not conscious, and most people who are not voting, are going back to feudalism, by not asserting their right in doing this.

Nicolaus of Cusa was also the father of the idea of human rights in practice, the ideas which are in the American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But, he was the one who resolved this question of the One and the Many: how to have unity of the world, by having sovereignty of the states at the same time, both for the secular state, as well as for the Church.

He said that concordance in the macrocosm, in the world at large, is only possible through the maximum development of all microcosms. Each nation must not only fully develop, but it must also contribute to the best development of all other nations. Not in the sense of an agreement on the least common denominator, but where each microcosm, each nation, contributes, like in a contrapuntal fugue, in a joint task of perfection, which represents the basic continuity underlying them all.

Nicolaus, while in Basel, was still on the side of the conciliar movement, which was, for the Church, the equivalent of the phenomenon of national kings in the Church. Despite the fact, that he absolutely upheld the idea of the independence of the national churches and the sovereignty of the state, Nicolaus recognized that unity was only possible when there was a higher-ordering principle, towards which the parts were oriented. So he changed to the side of the Papacy, while working on an epistemological method, both for finding scientific truth, as well as for the ecumenical basis for peace, both in a unified church, as well as among the religions.

This method, for the first time, was fully represented in De Docta Ignorantia, written in the three and a half months he spent on a ship coming back from Constantinople to Venice, where he developed the method of learned ignorance. It's what the mother of these Belgian children referred to: ``Be like children. Ask many questions. Form hypotheses. Don't come to quick answers, generate new hypotheses.''

The Filioque

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In Constantinople, Nicolaus had found the original documents, which proved that the famous Filioque debate at the Council of Florence already was an integral part of the Credos of the Greeks, of the earlier councils of Constantinople and Nicaea, as well as in the writings of St. Basil.

Since all of these texts originated from the time before the schism of the Church, the Greek patriarchs could be convinced, at the Council of Florence, that the Filioque was not a later addition, and, therefore, there was no theological basis for the split. His documents were used at the Council, and all the patriarchs and officials of the Church signed, including Isidor of Kiev. So the unification of the Eastern and the Western Church succeeded.

The Council of Florence was the high point of the Renaissance, and the watershed of modern history, not only because of the Filioque, the idea that the Holy Spirit, or Logos, emanates equally from the Father and the Son, but, also, because of the reaffirmation of the idea of imago dei, man in the image of God. Nicolaus saw man as imago viva dei, as the living image of God, and being capable of capax dei, of participating in God, when man imitates God's most noble aspect: his existence as the Creator, through the creative reason.

While these ideas existed in Christianity before, they were only a political reality for the upper classes. Through the Renaissance, the idea of universal education, which had been started before by the Brotherhood of the Common Life and other teaching orders, they became politically real.

With the Renaissance, the nation-state republic, a state which is committed to scientific progress for the common good as a mandate, and the idea of the intelligibility of the laws of the universe, through the development of the divine spark of reason, imago dei and capax dei, were developed. Nicolaus was quite correct when, in the introduction of Concordantia Catolica, he wrote that this represented a new epoch of mankind.

Nicolaus also developed a scientific method, which was absolutely the essence of why this represented such a leap forward.

In De Ludo Globii, (On the Game of Spheres,) he wrote that the soul, the human soul, was the place on earth which creates new arts and sciences; that it is the human soul which invents the sciences, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy. And, in doing so, it experiences that they are folded in its power. Because the sciences have been created by man, and have been developed, and because they are eternal, and always remain in the same way, therefore, the soul can see that it also is eternal, and really always remains; the immortality of the soul.

Because these mathematical sciences are only in man's soul, and folded in its power, so much so that they would not exist if this were not so. Now, this was against Ockham, who had just said there is no individual soul, and Averroes; and later, especially Pompanazzi, the evil Venetian agent, zeroed in on this point.

Nicolaus says that the lawfulness of the microcosm, the human mind, the soul, and the macrocosm, and the laws of the physical universe, are the same. The microcosm contains, in principle, everything contained in a macrocosm. Each microcosm, each human soul, recapitulates the evolution of the entire macrocosm, the entire universe, up to that point.

Now, Cusa's microcosm is the idea of the monad of Leibniz, of which we will hear later. What do the laws of this monad look like? One can approximate this, if one looks at the conceptual breakthrough Nicolaus made. Nicolaus had a new idea for the solution of the old problem of the quadrature of the circle, by creating the possibility of a new mathematical notion, which would only be realized 300 years later. Nicolaus was completely conscious of what he did. He wrote of the ars nova, the new art, and ars adhuc incognita, an art which up to this point was unknown.

Nicolaus wrote, in De Beryllo, [6]

``You should also know, that among those who are searching for the truth, I have found one more who was in error, namely, Plato, because he is saying that one could look at the circle from the standpoint of the name or definition, or the drawing of the mental notions, and that, with all of these views, one could not have caught the nature of the circle. Its nature or essence, which would be free of everything contradictorial, simple and eternal, would only be visible with the aid of reason.''
So said Plato in the Seventh Letter.

``But neither he, nor another one I have read, considered what I have written in the fourth preparatory remark. If he would have thought deeply, then he would have found that our mind, which has created the mathematical objects, that which he can create, has, in himself, more truthful and more real, than it is outside himself. And likewise, it is with the circle, with the line, with the triangle, but also with our notion of numbers; in short, with everything which has its origin in the human mind, and which is not nature.

``Therefore, Plato has not thought well, when he correctly abstracts the mathematical objects from the sensuous realm, and sees them with more truth in the mind, if he believes, therefore, that these would have even above reason a different and even more real being.

``And if Pythagoras, and all the others, would have reflected well, then they would have seen clearly, that the world of mathematical notions and numbers, which are created by our mind, and such are of the kind, in which we create our notions, can not be substances or principles of sensuous objects, but only of mental objects, whose creator we are.''

Now, this is important, because what Nicolaus here refers to, is the subjectivity of the cognitive process. Only if man applies the laws of his own mind, can he grasp mathematics. There is no mathematics already existing, outside of his mind. But this grasping occurs through construction. The mathematical objects are created by the mind.

This new conception of mathematics has consequences in many ways. In De Mente, he writes,

``Man relates to mathematics, as God relates to his great creatures. Therefore, mathematics is never finished, but always in need of a constructive development, perfection.''

The Roots of Modern Science

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You can trace the roots of modern science back to Plato's Academy; but, modern science as such, began with Nicolaus of Cusa, and his breakthrough in mathematical science, with the application of Plato's Parmenides principle, to effect a correction of Archimedes's effort at the quadrature of the circle--the attempt to construct a practical estimate of the number pi, which represents an estimated ratio of the length of the perimeter of the circle, to that of the circle's diameter. He developed the proof, that there exists a class of magnitudes in geometry which can not be rendered congruent with rational numbers: incommensurable magnitudes, such as, for example, the hypotenuse of a right triangle.

We can place the incommensurables between two magnitudes which are congruent with rational number orderings, showing that this incommensurable is less than the one of this pair, but greater than the other. This was the method used by Eudoxus: the method of exhaustion. By this method, the arithmetic value of pi can be measured to any necessary position, for such purposes as carpentry, plumbing, and so forth.

Can it therefore be assumed that the series of polygons 2 to the n power, converges upon the identity with the circular perimeter? In other words, that if you add sides to the polygon, that eventually, you will reach the circle?

Nicolaus says: absolutely not! The polygon and the circular perimeter, are of a different species. The circle is of a higher species. Think of a circle of the length of a side no greater than 10 to the minus 33, i.e., an unimaginably large one, and the diameter of a circle greater than any specified estimate for the size of the universe. There will always be a gap between the polygon and the circle.

Even more, you would think that the polygon and the circle become more equal, once they become larger. Nicolaus says no, the opposite is true, because they will have progressively less congruence between the polygon and the circle, as the number of the sides of the polygon increase.

At this point, Nicolaus makes the discovery that sets into motion the development of modern science. He insisted that the construction proved that the circular perimeter is of a higher species than the polygon. Earlier, Plato's Academy had shown that measurable magnitudes were divided into two species: rational numbers, and incommensurables, and this remained so until Cusa showed that the incommensurables were divided into two mutually exclusive species. The first one, is what we call today algebraic magnitudes, especially since the work of Leibniz and the Bernouillis [7], in the late 1690s; and the second higher species, discovered by Cusa, are called non-algebraic, or what we commonly call the transcendental numbers today. Later, Cantor [8] added the fourth species of magnitudes: the higher transfinites, or the alephs.

So we have four species of magnitudes: the rational, the algebraic, the transcendental, the higher transfinite species, each of them having an increasing power, each being separated from its successor by a gap, such that the higher can not be accessed formally from the predecessor, but the lower can be accessed from the higher.

This gap, in upward succession, is termed a logical discontinuity or singularity. In order to grasp this gap, one has mentally to replicate the original act of discovery. And, this is very essential to recognizing the devilish effect of the radical empiricist, whose aim it is exactly to destroy the essential faculty of the mind, to make that gap.

The implication of Cusa's discovery, is that the set of interdependent formal axioms and postulates of the so-called Euclidean geometry, were superseded by the adoption of circular action as such, in place of the so-called Euclidean axiomatic definitions of points and lines, and that we must abandon the notion of unbounded space-time, and accept the notion of a bounded physical space-time, a tradition which then led from Nicolaus of Cusa, to Pacioli, Leonardo, Kepler.

Once we have adopted Cusa's point of view of the realm of transcendentals, all arithmetic and algebraic realms become accessible. One can always reach the lower, the more primitive form, from the higher. This all comes from Nicolaus's Christian law of evolution. Nicolaus already differentiated among inorganic matter, living matter, animals, man, and God, and said that each species can only fully realize its potential, when it participates already in one point in the next higher species. So the animal is only fully animal, when it is human in at least one point; and, who, who has a cat, would not agree?

Man, on the other side, is only fully man, when he participates in God. And that point of participation in the next higher species, is exactly that singularity which I described before, in terms of mathematics. One can not reach the higher in a deductive way; by being fully bestial, you will never become human. Only if you are what Nicolaus calls being pulled aloft, emporgerissen can you reach that.

Now, it has been demonstrated many times in human history, that this is real, that this ``leap of discovery'' does occur, because it always brings mankind new, valid principles. In Plato's theory, each of these leaps corresponds to the ability of the human mind to form adequate hypothesis. And the common principle which generates change between these different hypotheses, is called the higher hypothesis. And the higher, subsuming principle of all of these, that which is its common subject, is the hypothesis of the higher hypothesis.

This is what the opponents of Plato, Cusa, and Leibniz, tried to destroy.

Venice vs. The Renaissance

Venice, in the time of the Renaissance, immediately perceived the Council of Florence and the ideas of the Renaissance as a mortal threat to it, as well as to the most vital interests of the oligarchical financial power. And, all of European history, from 1440 to the present, has been characterized by an effort of Venice and its allies to destroy the modern nation-state, and the science and culture associated with the Renaissance. It was not easy, because the Renaissance and the new social institutions proved to be a superior conception to the oligarchical model. Because what occurred with these reforms, was that the power of the household zoomed upward, per capita and per square kilometer. The health and the education of the people became better; and nowhere was this more clearly seen than through the reforms of Louis XI of France, where the income of the population doubled in the time of his reign.

So, with the Renaissance, the genie was out of the bottle; in the tradition of the Brotherhood of the Common Life and the Renaissance conception of man, the ratio of educated people, of literate people, became larger. And therefore, the intellectual precondition for the population to participate in scientific and cultural progress, changed dramatically.

The Renaissance and the nation-state were such powerful ideas, that they could not be destroyed through a frontal attack. And, nearly everything that has gone wrong in Europe, in history ever since, was the result of the efforts of Venice to destroy the tremendous cultural optimism and trust in the creative powers of man, from the inside, by subverting this method, and, therefore, the thinking of the scientists and their institutions.

Up to the present day, the most powerful enemy of the conceptions of the Renaissance, of which the sovereign nation-state, oriented towards the common good of the population is the political expression, was the Enlightenment, which really blossomed in the Eighteenth Century, but which had its roots in Aristotle, and with the brood of the radicalized Aristotelean, Ockham.

The Enlightenment was the war by the Venetian oligarchy to conquer the soul of the people, after they were ``freed'' from the Renaissance, and make them slaves and serfs again, by making them slaves of their own sensuous perception and sensuous desires. As we will see, it is the ideas of the Enlightenment which control practically all aspects of popular opinion today.

You don't believe this? Well, did you used to think that the Enlightenment was a positive development, until recently? That it somehow represented progress in overcoming superstition and narrowness of religious belief? If you ever entertained such an idea, you were the victim of the oligarchical war for the souls of the people; and, the soul is what they were after. After Cusa said that the soul is the place where all the sciences and arts originate, Pietro Pompanazzi, professor at the Venetian controlled University of Padua in the Sixteenth Century, revived Aristotle. And, since Aristotle insisted that there is no realm of our intellect which is not determined by matter, Pompanazzi said that the consequence is that when the body dies, there is no soul left. And, since the soul has no material existence, it does not exist. It was the most blatant attack on the cognitive capacity of man, of that creative reason celebrated by the Renaissance.

Pompanazzi was the teacher of Cardinal Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542), who played the crucial role in supporting the Spirituali, who joined Luther and the Calvinists during the Reformation, as well as supporting the Counter-Reformation; and all according to the principle of divide and conquer. And, he finally was instrumental in the convocation of the Council of Trent, where all the writings of the Renaissance Pope, Enea Piccolomini, (Pius II) were put on the Index.

At the beginning of the Sixteenth Century, the Franciscan monk and agent of the Venetian secret service, Francesco Zorzi, played an important role at the court of Henry VIII of England, in the split of the Anglican Church from Rome, an important element in the decision of the Venetian oligarchy to shift their center of power from Venice to northern Europe, especially to the Netherlands and England.

At the beginning of the Seventeenth Century, Paolo Sarpi and his pupil, Galileo Galilei, launched a major operation to contain Kepler and his groundbreaking discoveries. Kepler had sent his book, Mysterium Cosmographicum, and Sarpi and Galileo made a tremendous effort to usurp, and plagiarize, and falsify, Kepler's work.

In the Eighteenth Century, the Venetians Antonio Conti and Giammaria Ortes continued that history of scientific fraud and subversion, by organizing the campaign, ``Newton vs. Leibniz,'' and the lie that Newton was the inventor of the calculus, and that Leibniz had stolen it, a myth which is still repeated in the textbooks today.

Conti, who was a Venetian nobleman, deployed the most extensive campaign to combat the influence of Leibniz. He organized a network in Paris around the philosopher Malebranche, and his followers later on. He was close to Fontenelle, the secretary of the French Academy of Sciences, and he organized systematic visits of French scientists to London, to recruit them to the English Royal Society, and to turn them into Anglophile agents. The way to imagine that, is that it is like what Soros is doing today, with the Russian scientists, is what Conti did then.

Newton vs. Leibniz

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He picked Newton, in an attempt to contain the influence of Leibniz; what Sarpi had done earlier with Galileo, against Kepler. Conti, without any scruple, hyped up Newton against Leibniz, by reading letters to him, making him mad against Leibniz, and, at the same time, worked with the Royal Society in a campaign to accuse Leibniz of stealing Newton's calculus.

Conti spent from 1715 to 1718 in London, and then went back to France, to build a pro-Newton campaign on the continent, especially in France and Italy, because Leibniz's popularity on the continent, especially in Germany, was so great, that it took very elaborated operations involving entire divisions of paid agents, who would slander Leibniz and water down his philosophies, by synthesizing them.

Why was the freakout against Leibniz so extraordinary? Well, the Venetian oligarchy was absolutely aware of the relation of the metaphysical conceptions of the universe, and its relation to state theory, i.e., the political system. For them, the ultimate threat was the Renaissance conception of man: the nation-state, as developed by Cusanus; the concept of evolution, of a non-entropic universe.

They thought that they had defeated all of this; now, Leibniz seemed to revive all of this on a much more elaborated basis. Leibniz was the inventor of physical economy; he gave a new definition to what the source of wealth in an economy is, namely, that it is the productive powers of the creative mind. He pushed the idea of technological progress, as that which increases these powers.

Now, just think how much Leibniz's work meant for Lyn's own discoveries of physical economy as the yardstick of relative potential population density, which, by the way, is a true example of what the least-action principle implies, namely, that it involves the seed of all the leaps and gaps to be overcome in the future.

Leibniz was also involved in an enormous number of diplomatic initiatives, and had proposals for the infrastructure of all of Eurasia, cooperation with China, with Russia, with Peter the Great. From the standpoint of the oligarchy, a mind like Leibniz's represented a complete catastrophe. So they went into a superdeployment, for nearly one century, to counter this. The way to imagine this, is how the oligarchy today reacted to Lyn. Think of all the many operations, in all, so many countries: How many five-dollar agents, ten-pound agents, five-pfennig agents, have, in the last thirty years, been deployed? I mean, that's what occurred against Leibniz.

Again, Conti was instrumental, together with the Royal Society, to first build up Newton. And, the main interest in doing so, was to maintain the oligarchical state theory, which, from the middle of the Eighteenth Century on, was called ``Newtonian State theory,'' or, later, the ``hedonistic calculus,'' by Jeremy Bentham. All of this goes back to Thomas Hobbes and his mechanistic notion of society: the idea of kinematic interaction of isolated particles; Hobbes and his successors, such as John Locke, Bernard de Mandeville, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Pierre Louis Maupertuis, Giammaria Ortes, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, James Mill and John Stuart Mill.

Where Conti was the key organizer in the first phase of the Newton vs. Leibniz campaign, Voltaire was the organizer in the second phase. And, I must say, in having read a lot of what Voltaire wrote, and about him, I have come to the conclusion that there was hardly ever a more disgusting, more degenerate, more low-life, than Voltaire; and there never was a more absolutely despicable tool of the oligarchs. And, it is very interesting to reflect, that the Frankfurt School basically praised the Enlightenment and Voltaire as one of their great heroes. Modern Marxism in Germany--you have Club Voltaires practically in every city.

Voltaire was born on Nov. 21, 1694, in Paris, as a son of an attorney. His teacher was a certain Abbe de Cheteneuf, the last lover of the famous courtesan, Ninon de Lenchais, who introduced him early into paganism and the skepticism of Montaigne. And the young Voltaire soon started to write plays. He got a secret manuscript circulating among the oligarchs at that time, that religion is only a device used by the rulers to keep the ruled in order and awe.

Voltaire Flees to England

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Now, he was such a spoiled brat, that he very early got into trouble with the authorities, which, at that point, was Louis XV, who was a more anti-Venetian king, so that Voltaire in May 1726 had to flee to England. And there, he was picked up immediately by the British elite. He became completely enthusiastic about England. He was influenced by Mandeville [9], the one who had written that man is evil by nature, and that individual vice leads to social good. For example, private prostitution leads to public chastity. Therefore, it is good. If all the people were moral, lawyers would have nothing to eat, so therefore, it's good that people are bad, because it leads to all these beautiful things.

So, Mandeville was regarded as a cynical materialist. But Voltaire totally agreed with him on the benefits of luxury. And Voltaire, by the way, remained a financial speculator all his life. Voltaire said,

``I love luxury--the soft life! All the pleasures in the arts, in their variety, the cleanliness, the taste, and the ornaments!''
Voltaire was immediately integrated into the Royal Society. He studied Newton, praised Locke as the first to have made a realistic study of the human mind. And soon, he would write, ``How I love the English!'' he wrote in a letter to Madame du Deffond. Soon, he would write his Lettres sur les Anglais, the Letters about the English, and, he and other representatives of the French Enlightenment became the crucial ones to organize Anglophilia on the continent.

When Voltaire went back to France, he began to write La Pucelle d'Orleans, (The Maiden of Orleans,) about which I will speak a little bit later. He also wrote the play Zaire, and became the most celebrated ``poet,'' so-called, of France.

From 1733, he would work out with his future victim, Maupertuis, a campaign for how to use Newton on the continent. And, he did that together with his lover, Madame Emilie du Chatelet: how to spread lies about the so-called liberties and rights in England, and how to stir up revolts against Louis XV (of France) and the Church.

So, after his Lettres philosophiques were published, again, he had to flee, because they were blasphemous, and all his books got burned. And then the women of the nobility, titled women, obtained a pardon for him. The pardon was withdrawn, and Voltaire travelled from chateau to chateau, from castle to castle, welcomed by the nobles.

By that time, the documents of La Pucelle had circulated, becoming the laughing-stock of the nobility. He wrote the Traité de Metaphysique, which was the idea of a visitor coming to Earth from Jupiter, who lands in Africa, and comes to the conclusion that man is an animal with black skin and woolly hair, and that man is composed of completely different species, and does not come from a single ancestor. Now, here you have a racist if you ever want one. And the Afro-Americans better look at this Enlightenment, and not put the Renaissance people in one pot with these creeps!

When Voltaire was 42 years old, he received his first letter from the Crown Prince Frederick, from Prussia, whom Voltaire called ``Great.'' So, you can imagine. And, this was a meeting of the minds of the worst kind.

"Suspicious Intimacy"

Now, Frederick in his very early youth was spoiled, maybe through the influence of two young officers, Captain von Kotte and Lieutenant Keith. And, all the books write that they had a ``suspicious intimacy.'' His sister, Wilhelmina, said that Frederick was destroyed in all of his religious belief, through these two young guys, which infuriated his father, Friedrich Wilhelm I, that he had such an effeminate son. So, at a certain point, Frederick even wanted to flee to England with them, whereupon the father executed Kotte, and made Frederick watch.

Frederick grew up as a cynical materialist and determinist. He regarded himself as the pupil of Voltaire, and, when he became king later on, despite keeping this liberal image, became a true tyrant and despot. His image of man was the following. He said,

``Nature naturally produces thieves, the envious, forgers, murderers, they cover the face of the earth, and, without laws which repress vice, each individual would abandon himself. Men are naturally inclined to evil, and they are good only in proportion to the extent that education and experience have modified their impetuosity.''

Naturally, he praised the English as the model. When one of the school inspectors, Sulser, opposed him, and said ``No, man is good,'' he said, ``You do not know this damned race!'' And, he thought that man could only be checked by fear of police. Therefore, it was the duty of the first servant of the state (naturally, himself), to organize the defensive and offensive system, to do to others what they are planning to do to you. This is like ``Dallas'' and ``Dynasty'' soap operas.

Having an army and the police, Frederick thought it was not necessary to have religion, because you could manage. He agreed to a pro forma marriage with Elizabeth von Brunswick Beven, but he preferred the presence of handsome youth, with whom he often went up to his room after dinner, for long periods of time.

Frederick made major efforts to pull Voltaire to his court, and finally succeeded. And, they targetted the Berlin Academy of Sciences, which had been founded by Leibniz under Frederick I in 1701. And, they tried to stamp out all influence of Leibniz, and, with the help of Voltaire, made Berlin the center of British agents, liberals, and free-thinkers, and paganists of Europe. There was a complete and total counteroffensive by the Enlightenment. And hardly have you ever seen such a collection of agentry, degeneracy, and satanists.

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Among the people whom they called to Berlin, were Euler, a Swiss mathematician, and the famous Maupertuis, who became the president of the Academy, on the advice of Voltaire. One of the first operations by the Academy under Maupertuis, was the attack on Leibniz's Monadology, and they made it the subject of a contest in 1747, eliciting pro- and contra-Monadology papers.

Leibniz's notion of the monads is key to his conception of ``pre-established harmony.'' For Leibniz, the monads are indivisible, and they have souls. They do not act towards each other directly, but they are so tuned towards each other by God, that what happens inside one monad, immediately affects all others. It's the old idea of Parmenides: the Many must be subsumed by a One, or the Many do not exist.

Euler, instead, believed, with Newton, that the only thing real, were atoms: passive and hard corpuscles, which move against each other. This was exactly the same primitive-mechanistic point of view of Newton, but really like Descartes [10], despite supposed differences between the ``dogmatic'' Descartes, who thought that he needed no experiments to prove his deductive assumptions, and Newton, who thought that hypothesis was not necessary.

So, Descartes said,

``For I openly acknowledge, that I recognize no other substance of corporeal things, than [that they are] in every way (omnimode) divisible, formidable and movable, which the geometers denote as quantity and take as the subject of their proofs, and that I note in it only those divisions, forms, and motions, and recognize nothing in them as real, which is not clearly derived from those general concepts, in whose truth one can not doubt, so that it can be demonstrated mathematically as valid. Then now in this way all natural phenomena can be explained ... thus I hold other principles of natural philosophy neither as admissable nor as desirable.''

Euler was not less mechanistic. In his conception against Leibniz's concept of active substance, he said,

``We perceive from this furthermore that such a force, which shall be directed at an endless change of the state of body, directly contradicts the essence of the body, and can in no way and manner be appropriate to the same. For since two contradictory things can not exist at the same time, thus also a body in its state can not abide together with one force, and be endowed with another force to change its state. It is thus a manifest error, when some of these modern philosophers would ascribe to bodies such moving or active forces ... and without consideration, look at some of these forces even as self-subsisting beings; thus is it set forth now as clear as day, that such forces occur only in the imagination, and can not possibly exist with the essence of the body.''

It becomes very clear, that Euler misunderstood Leibniz's conception of the monad, and took it simply as an atom or a point. According to this, God, whom Leibniz had called a monad, would be nothing other than a point.

Now, Leibniz had claimed that the monads are indivisible, and Euler found a very simple argument against it. He said that it was an old problem as to whether a material body could be divided infinitely or not. This is obviously a question which takes you beyond sensuous experience, because once you go into the infinitely small, you can not really have a sensuous experience about it. But Euler had no such problem.

He claimed that the geometrical body is only the abstraction of the material one; and therefore, according to Euclid, the geometrical body is infinitely divisible. Therefore, this must be the case with the material body. So, all this was, was a silly syllogism; and, it was so stupid, that many colleagues told Euler that he completely failed to understand Leibniz.

Indeed, Euler made a fool of himself; and, except for the fact that he was a paid puppet of Frederick, he would have been discredited as a scientist at that point. But, for Leibniz, the characteristic of the monad was exactly what the microcosm was for Nicolaus of Cusa. It is a universality, a minimum in which, implicitly, the maximum is represented.

Since the creative mind of the individual is a monad, it has the non-entropic character of making creative discoveries, which are expressed in the form of scientific and technological progress. And that, again, has the capacity to increase the population density on the planet, and, therefore, it does exist. The monad therefore is a reflection of the universe as a whole, and the Creator. The monad is the image of the living God of Cusa.

Plato's Parmenides Dialogue

Now, concerning Euler's argument of infinite divisibility of bodies as a sub-feature of extension, Plato had already dealt with this problem in the Parmenides dialogue, by showing that the method of simple extension can not define substance. Not extension, but change in the process of extension, is the characteristic of the monad. It is the same problem of Cusa's quadrature of the circle: it is not the bad infinity of adding endless numbers of new sides to the polygon; it is the actual infinity of making a qualitative leap into a new species. It is the creative power, discovering new ideas, leading to a change in what is valid knowledge, by overthrowing an entire set of assumptions, through discovery of new and valid principles of natural law, leading to an increase in man's efficiency over nature.

Euler, from his mechanistic point of view, then attacked Leibniz's notion of analysis situs, by saying, ``The locus is therefore something, which does not depend on the bodies and is equally not a notion of the understanding, and what reality it possesses outside of that, I don't dare to determine.''

The absurd thing was, that Euler was convinced in all of that, that he defended, in his own view, religion, in the sense of Newton's God, who had to come, from time to time, to wind up the entropic universe. He claimed, that Leibniz's conception, where the power of motion and non-entropic change lies in the monads themselves, leads to atheism.

In 1747, Euler anonymously published his text: ``Saving the Divine Revelation Against the Arguments of the Free Spirits.''

The next chapter in the campaign against Leibniz, turned out to be a complete boomerang, showing the absolute scientific absurdity and personal degeneracy of the entire Enlightenment clique, from Frederick to Voltaire, Maupertuis, and Euler. It turned out to be a complete farce. It concerned the fight around Leibniz's ``principle of least action.''

Euler was all the time convinced that he was the best mathematician and therefore that he should be the president of the Academy. But, Frederick had preferred Maupertuis, on advice of Voltaire, since for him Euler was too pedestrian. He was a Swiss, German-speaking fundamentalist.

Maupertuis, on the other side, was a radical French Enlightenment figure. He had the French wit, the bel esprit that Frederick liked so much in his company. Maupertuis was not really a scientist. His claim to fame was that he participated in an expedition to the North Pole, which discovered that the Earth was flattened on both poles. From that time, Maupertuis had the feeling that he could not breathe, if the entire world was not looking at him and adoring him. For six months, his trip to the North Pole was the talk of Paris, and Maupertuis did everything to remind everyone that he was the one who had made the trip to the Pole. He had himself painted in reindeer fur, the left hand on a flattened globe, and the right hand showing the direction of science!

He had brought two Lapland girls (naturally without the permission of their parents), and showed them around in Paris, as a trophy. Then, he went to places in Paris in the winter, and he would suddenly grab some snow from the ground, and look at it thoughtfully. And then people would say, ``Ooohhh! He must be comparing it with the snow from the North Pole!'' Naturally, he had an African servant. And, his vanity was limitless; he wanted to be the number one everywhere.

Maupertuis's Fatal Flaw

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He was, at the same time, arrogant and sniping, and soon, naturally, all his colleagues were against him. In Berlin, for example, he treated Euler as completely inferior. After all, it was he, Maupertuis, who had made Newton totally famous in France. But, obviously, he had more bel esprit and imagination than scientific knowledge. And, this extreme vanity and lack of scientific judgment, turned out to be a fatal mixture.

When d'Alembert [11], in 1743, wrote his Traité de dynamique oeuvre, where he said that all mechanical principles must be expressed in a mathematical differential equation, Maupertuis felt very competitive. So, finally, he grabbed the least-action principle of Leibniz, and said,

``I have discovered the law of the universe. For example, light, if forced through mirrors and breaking surfaces like water, makes detours, and it always seeks the route which requires the least time.''

Maupertuis believed, with Newton, that light was just very fast-moving particles. And, out of this, Maupertuis concluded that "for each change in nature, the magnitude of the used action is as little as possible."

Now, since this is not even true for so-called pure mechanical actions, Maupertuis did not even attempt a proof. Helmholtz, another mechanic guy later, said at least he was lucky in guessing the truth. He was wrong on that, too.

Maupertuis said that therefore, it can not be a coincidence that the necessary action would always be the smallest. It had to be the intended austerity measure of a smart Creator. So in 1749 he declared, proudly, that he had found the undebatable proof, that this law of least action existed, and it would be so worthy of the Supreme Being, that the movements of the animals, and the growth of the plants, and the orbits of the planets, would all be the necessary consequence.

Why God needed this budget-cutting approach, he did not say; and, why God, of all people, should have a Maastricht mentality in creating the universe reflecting his dignity, Maupertuis did not explain.

But, Leibniz obviously had said nothing of that sort. He was very careful, and said that the right question is always that which poses the right next higher hypothesis, which is what the least action principle represents, while the mechanists are always very fast to reduce something to a new formula, even before the new dimension of the problem has been thought out.

That was the setting in which the famous Koenig Affair occurred. In 1750, Koenig, who was a Swiss mathematician who lived in Holland at the court in a not-less-influential position than Maupertuis, visited him in Berlin. And he presented Maupertuis his paper, which contained a criticism of Maupertuis's document on the least action principle. Koenig wanted to be fair, and show it to Maupertuis before he published it. But Maupertuis, in a fit of arrogance, refused to read it, and said, ``Do with it what you please!'' And, since Maupertuis refused to discuss the matter, Koenig published the matter in March 1751, in the Leipziger Akten.

Koenig demonstrated there, that the least action principle is not always a minimum; sometimes, even a maximum, so that Maupertuis's entire budget-cutting approach went out the window. And that the whole matter had already been discussed by Leibniz, who had argued that the least action could be either a minimum or a maximum.

Koenig referenced a quote from a letter by Leibniz to Herman, in 1707. Leibniz said,

``Action is not what you think; the consideration of time enters into it; action is the product of the mass by the space and the velocity, or as the time by the vice versa. I have remarked that in the modification of motion, the action becomes usually a maximum or a minimum--and from this, there might be deduced several propositions of great consequence. It might serve to determine the curves described by bodies under attraction to one or more centers. I had meant to treat of these things in the second part of my Dynamique; which I suppressed, the reception of the first, by prejudice in many quarters, having disgusted me.''

After this article appeared, Maupertuis was beside himself: How much effort had it cost him to convince the world that Leibniz was nothing more than a plagiarizer of the great Newton, and now he, the great Maupertuis, was unmasked as a plagiarizer of Leibniz, and an incompetent one on top of it! The honor of the entire Academy was at stake, even the honor of the King.

So the Academy ordered Koenig to produce the original of Leibniz's letter, knowing perfectly well that the authentic copy which had been in the possession of Koenig's friend Hensi, whom the Swiss had executed in the meantime, was in the possession of the Swiss authorities, and therefore this letter could not be produced.

Maupertuis's reaction was incredibly stupid, and one would have thought that he would somehow have admitted it. But, by insisting that the letter was a forgery, he just proved that he was a paid agent; so was Euler, who faithfully wrote an opinion arguing at length why this letter could not be from Leibniz. And here you have the classic example, that ``scientific objectivity,'' when money is involved, when the Academy pays you to write an opinion, is not to be believed. And, if you read Greenie scientists today, you have the same thing.

There is no question that Euler knew the issue, because he had studied with Johann Bernouilli, a collaborator of Leibniz. The famous letter to Herman, who was Euler's relative, with whom he had spent six years at the Academy in St. Petersburg. So there is no question that Euler knew.

Voltaire Strikes vs. Maupertuis

But, at that time, Voltaire decided to strike against Maupertuis, because this fraud was even too blatant for this degenerate. Voltaire published ``Reponse d'un Academicien de Berlin, à un Academicien de Paris, in which he accused Maupertuis of plagiarism, blunder, misuse of office to suppress free discussion, and so forth.

And, since Frederick was of a mixed mind; on the one hand, he agreed with Voltaire; but, on the other side, his Academy was at stake. So, he felt compelled to write an anonymous response, calling Voltaire's letter a ``malicious, cowardly, and infamous piece, the author a shameless impostor, a concocter of stupid libels,'' and so forth. So Voltaire was insulted.

Now, Maupertuis had just at this point published letters, in which he proposed certain scientific projects, for example, such incredible things as that ``enough opium enables man to see the future''; or that ``in order to avoid sicknesses, you should just cover the body with an unpenetrable paste, to prevent sicknesses from coming in.'' Or ``the vivisection of the brain of living criminals, to find out how the mind works,'' because the individual means nothing, he wrote. Against which Voltaire wrote his famous diatribe, Dr. Akakia, which was published in the Hague. And, again, Voltaire had to flee, because Frederick didn't like it. He quickly stole the poems of Frederick, and wrote more diatribes, and so forth.

This whole affair, became the gossip of all palaces in Germany and France. And, since most of the nobility were loyal followers of Voltaire, this was the issue of the time. Koenig, the poor mathematician, never recovered. He died soon after at the age of 45.

At the end of 1758, Voltaire wrote within a few weeks his famous piece, Candide, against Leibniz. This book was such a scandal, that in 1759 it was publicly burned in Geneva; in '62 put on the Index by the Vatican. However, up to Voltaire's death, forty editions were published. It was a vicious attack on Leibniz's thesis of the ``best of all possible worlds.''

Candide was a simple-minded fellow. And his teacher is Pangloss. Voltaire has them travel, and all possible horrors happen to them. For example, in the second chapter, Candide gets captured by Bulgarian soldiers and gets whipped, four thousand lashes with a whip, so that his blood and flesh and muscles are all ripped apart, so that he begs to die. I mean, it's gruesome.

What he wanted to prove, is that optimism is nothing but illusion; even worse, that optimism is an intentional fraud against man, to keep him unwarned in the face of ever-new disasters, and that out of the self-deception of the philosophers, comes the fraud against mankind.

Leibniz, in the Theodicy, had said something completely different; namely, that God has chosen the best possible plan in creating the world, in which the largest manifold is combined with the highest degree of order, where location, space, and time are used in the best possible way, where the highest efficiency can be accomplished in the simplest way, and where the creatures have the most power, the most knowledge, the most happiness and goodness which the universe could possibly contain.

Naturally, Leibniz did not mean that the individual man would experience the maximum happiness, but that the laws of the universe were such that in a non-entropic development of the maximum degrees of freedom, coincide with the optimal ordering of the universe. Therefore, Candide was completely beside the point; but, it catered to the taste of the degenerate nobility, who rejected any moral ordering of the world.

Voltaire's method was to pull the sacred into the dirt, take Hope and inject cynicism, and ``be witty.''

If Candide was bad, Voltaire's La Pucelle d'Orleans, The Maid of Orleans, was as bad or worse. The heroic figure of Joan of Arc, who saved France in the Hundred Years' War from the occupation of the English (remember the Venetian role in this); obviously, Voltaire, as a scribbler for the oligarchy, still had a beef with Joan of Arc as a positive image of the soul of France.

Schiller's Jeanne d'Arc

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Historically, Joan of Arc is one of the most remarkable figures in history. Despite the fact that she was a young girl, a shepherdess who led a military offensive against the English successfully, she was clearly an extraordinary woman, able to move, to inspire the hearts of the French, in giving France back its soul; shaping the entire Fifteenth Century. She was burned at the stake in 1431 as a result of agentry and intrigue. And, ever since, the Anglo-Saxon literature has tried to defame her as a mythical figure, or not existing at all.

Voltaire, in 1730, at the suggestion of the Duke de Richelieu, began to write La Pucelle, and he finished it when he was 65. Voltaire portrayed Joan in an obscene way, as a silly peasant girl, trying to defend her virginity against lascivious monks, and portrayed her religion simply as a farce. The manuscript circulated, and, even before it was finished, La Pucelle had become the laughing-stock of the entire degenerated nobility of the Enlightenment.

When Schiller decided to write Joan of Arc, he proved to be tremendously courageous. He undertook to move an audience with a subject, about which the whole world had just rolled on the floor with dirty laughter. The image that the entire educated world had of Jeanne d'Arc, was that painted by Voltaire. Schiller's work was all the more daring, because everybody knows from experience, how difficult it is to present a noble and sublime idea, after sarcasm and cynicism. You all have experienced that.

When the Duke of Weimar heard that Schiller was planning to write a play about Jeanne d'Arc, he wrote to Caroline von Wolzogen, who was Schiller's sister-in-law: ``Full of horror I learned that Schiller has written a theater-play, `La Pucelle d'Orleans.' The subject is very scabrous, an object of ridicule, which hardly can be avoided, especially among people who know Voltaire's poem practically by heart.''

But, that was exactly the point. Schiller, who had a passionate love for mankind, who was a complete Leibnizian by philosophy, and who had experienced the degeneracy of the enlightened absolute nobility of his time firsthand, could not bear the idea of seeing the noble image of mankind ground into the dust. He not only wrote the most beautiful play "Joan of Arc," ``The Maid of Orleans,'' but in his letters, he left no doubt that Joan of Arc was the person he loved, and that she was the most direct expression of his agapic love for mankind.

But he also wrote the following poem, which I will read to you.*


The noble image of mankind to sully,
Contempt doth roll thee in the deepest dust,
Wit wageth war eternally on Beauty,
In angel and in God he holds no trust;
To rob the heart her treasures he intendeth,
Illusion he besets and faith offendeth.
Yet, like thyself, from childlike generation,
A shepherdess like thou of piety,
To thee doth poetry extend her godly sanction,
To the eternal stars she swings with thee;
Within a halo who doeth thee encircle --
The heart form'd thee! Thou wilt live on immortal.
The world doth love, the radiant to dirty
And the sublime to drag i'th'dust below;
Yet have no fear! There still are hearts of beauty,
Which for the high, the glorious do glow.
The noisy market Momus may make mirthful,
A nobler mind loves forms which are more noble.

This idea of a childlike generation, in the sense of kind or species, is what the mature Schiller had discovered as the foundation of any truly creative activity, as the only basis for genius. With naive grace, the genius expresses his most sublime and profound thoughts, divine thoughts expressed with the purity of the child.

Schiller really expressed a philosophy of childhood in this sense, stressing always the importance of maintaining a childlike soul. In the Third Aesthetical Letter he writes, that when destiny has caused a break, a destruction in your development, then you have to find in your maturity back to your childhood, not by going back to the past, but by finding a new ideal of mankind, in cohesion with your childhood.

He wrote to Goethe, ``This second youth is the divine youth, and therefore immortal!'' This means, that the means by which one can find cohesion is through poetry. Therefore the poets are the avant garde of the new mankind, as were Lull, Dante, and Schiller.

Voltaire and Schiller in many ways represent the most opposite poles of their century. There is no greater contrast possible. It is a remarkable success that through Schiller, the Voltaire ``Pucelle'' totally vanished out of the public memory. When people today think about Joan of Arc, they think about Schiller's Joan of Arc.

But practically every book about the Enlightenment admits that otherwise, the axioms of thinking of the Enlightenment have taken over nearly all faculties of science and art up to the present day. Most people think that Montesquieu represented an important step in the evolution of modern democracy. Most mathematicians think that Euler was a great mathematician, and that d'Alembert was right, that everything in physics can be put in self-evident mathematical equations.

But, even more fundamental than that, was what the Enlightenment had done to the soul of the people: it simply had stolen it, first by declaring that it didn't exist, like Pompanazzi; then they proceeded to eliminate creative reason, by pretending to be so liberal, so progressive, so pro-science, that they flattened the universe to their mechanistic version.

But, most importantly, they took hope away from mankind, and replaced it by love of lust.

But, if you look at Voltaire, Frederick, Euler, and Maupertuis: what sad, cynical figures they were! They did not spread science, but instead they took away the confidence and optimism that the human mind is made in the image of God and capable of that creative reason, which enables him to overcome any problem.

Unfortunately, the Enlightenment had many bastard offspring; For example, Kant's critical method, the Frankfurt School, and the deconstructionism of Derrida today.

There are many more fascinating stories to be told about the fight in the tradition of Leibniz. There were Lessing and Moses Mendelssohn at the Berlin Academy, and their work in the library of Wolfenbuettel. There were many breakthroughs in the German classics, by people who went back to the Greek classics, who took up the Renaissance, and which was turned into an educational system by Wilhelm von Humboldt, with the idea of making each child potentially a genius, by having them learn the entirety of human universal history, and the crucial breakthroughs in art and science.

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And there was the extremely important defense of Leibniz by Emmerich de Vattel, who became the chief adviser to the Court of Augustus III of Saxony, during the time Prussia attacked it, which attack was inspired by the British, and led to the Seven Years' War. His beautiful book, The Laws of Nations, challenged all the basic axioms of the Venetian British oligarchy, and it became the most influential book on constitutional questions for the next 125 years, and massively influenced the Founding Fathers of America. It was studied and quoted by Franklin, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and many others.

The Laws of Nations reestablished the absolute necessity of unrestrained national sovereignty, and a government based on natural law, also emphasizing the need for government to instruct the people to seek felicity where it can be found; that it is their perfection of themselves, and to teach them the means of obtaining it, which is most important.

Vattel said,

``The first general law that we discover in the very object of the society of nations, is that each individual nation is bound to contribute everything in her power to the happiness and perfection of all others.''
That was, again, exactly the idea of Concordantia Catolica, and Leibniz's World Development.

Now we have come to the turning point, the fundamental branching point, the punctum saliens in history. The global financial system is in a breakdown crisis, and we are looking at a collapse worse than that of the Fourteenth Century. The 600-year epoch, the fight between the nation-state and the oligarchical model which co-existed in a symbiotic form, is coming to an end. If the nation-state and sovereignty are eliminated, we are looking to a new form of barbarism which mankind has probably never seen.

The alternative is already there. The fact that India, China, Iran, Turkey, the Central Asian republics, are working on the Eurasian Land-bridge; that Germany and France, under conditions of their collapsing economies, are orienting toward the Eurasian Land-bridge, means that there is hope. If we can convince the U.S. government to adopt the Eurasian Land-bridge as being in the strategic security interests of the United States, and that the United States must return to the policy of the Founding Fathers, to support a community of principle among sovereign nation-states, then the oligarchism, their evil ideology, the Enlightenment, can be defeated forever, and a new Renaissance is within reach.

Vattel wrote,

``How happy would mankind be, were these amiable precepts of nature everywhere observed! Nations would communicate to each other their products and their knowledge; a profound peace would prevail all over the earth, and enrich it with its invaluable fruits; industry, the sciences, and the arts would be employed in promoting our happiness, no less than in relieving our wants; violent methods of deciding contests would be no more heard of; all differences would be terminated by moderation, justice and equity; the world would have the appearance of a large republic; men would live everywhere like brothers, and each individual be a citizen of the universe. That this idea should be but a delightful dream! Yet it flows from the nature and essence of man.''

This is the idea of the ``Ode to Joy'' by Schiller: ``all men become brethren,'' and it is the idea of the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. It is the poets and the composers who shape human history. Let us therefore make a solemn commitment that we will create a beautiful world with people with a beautiful soul.

*Mrs. LaRouche read the poem, first in German, then in English.


  1. GODFREY BINAISA; former President of Uganda 1979-80; Founder African Civil Rights Movement; collaborator of the Schiller Institute.

  2. PROF. FRIEDRICH AUGUST VON DER HEYDTE; leading German military-strategic thinker; also authored Modern Irregular Warfare.

  3. SALIER EMPERORS (also, Salian or Salic); 1024-1138; Henry IV, most well-known for investiture controversy with Papacy.

  4. PHILIP THE FAIR (1268-1314); Philip IV, King of France 1285-1314.

  5. DANTE ALIGHIERI (1265-1321); Italian poet and political leader of Florence. Authored the Divine Comedy.

  6. DE BERYLLO (1458; also On Beryllus); Beryllus is a type of glass used in lens-making in 15th century Italy.

  7. DANIEL BERNOUILLI (also, Bernoulli) 1700-82; Dutch-born, Swiss scientist; discovered principles of fluid behavior; father Johann and uncle Jakob were also scientists.

  8. GEORG CANTOR (1845-1918); German mathematician, born St. Petersburg; professor at University of Halle after 1782.

  9. BERNARD DE MANDEVILLE (1670-1733); British; wrote Fable of the Bees.

  10. RENE DECARTES (1596-1650); French philosopher, follower of Aristotle.

  11. JEAN LE ROND D'ALEMBERT (1717-83); French Enlightenment mathematician and philosopher.

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The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The American Almanac. It is made available here with the permission of The New Federalist Newspaper. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The American Almanac.

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